Ohio Contractor License

Ohio Contractor License

Are you a handyman or a contractor thinking of getting licensed in the state of Ohio? Or perhaps you have an idea of establishing your contracting business in the state. Either way, you are in the right place because in this article we will reveal the main processes of obtaining your contractor’s license in Ohio, state-issued requirements, registration, license lookup, and more.

Do you need a license to be a contractor in Ohio?

In Ohio, state-level licenses are required only for certain types of trades. The Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB) issues state-wide contractor’s licenses to the following trades:

  • Electrical
  • HVAC
  • Plumbing
  • Refrigeration installment
  • Hydronics

If your work doesn’t involve here mentioned trades, to be a licensed contractor you must meet the requirements established by the government of your local city/county. Remember that each city in Ohio has its own laws and regulations for handling the licensing processes so follow up the requirements of your local authority.

Read more on Ohio Contractor License Classifications page.

How do I get a contractor’s license in Ohio?

As we mentioned earlier the process of earning a contractor’s license or registering on a local level is different so here we will discuss each city’s requirements in Ohio, separately.

Columbus, Ohio

To get your contractor’s license in Columbus, you must apply through the Columbus Department of Building and Zoning Services that offers two types of licenses for building contractors:

  • Home Improvement Contractors License
  • General Contractor’s License

Home Improvement license requires applicants to meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • US citizen, a lawful permanent resident, or an alien authorized to work in the US.
  • Have 3 years of work experience in construction trades working on one, two, three-family dwelling improvement or one year experience for a limited license.
  • Completed ICC exam with at least 70% score.

If you meet the above-mentioned requirements submit a home improvement contractor’s license application by including:

  • Notarized and filled out application form
  • $185 non-refundable fee made payable to Columbus City Treasurer
  • ICC test results

Mail or deliver in person the following materials to this address:

The Department of Building & Zoning Services
757 Carolyn Ave
Columbus, OH 43224

For general contractor’s license in Columbus, the requirements are identical to home improvement contractor’s licensing. When mailing your application, make sure to include the following materials:

  • Filled out and notarized application form
  • $380 application fee made payable to Columbus City Treasurer
  • A bond in the amount of $25,000
  • Liability insurance with the minimum of $300,0000 for damages to a single person and 500,000 for one occurrence

What is the difference between a general contractor and a licensed contractor in Ohio?

The main difference between licensed contractors and handyman is that the latter is only trusted to carry out minor repair works on residential property. If you want to work on bigger projects in specialized trades such as plumbing, refrigeration, electrical, or HVAC you must obtain a specialty contractor’s license in the state. General contractor license in Ohio allows you to work on new building construction, repair commercial properties, make changes to buildings, and more.

What is the easiest contractor’s license to get in Ohio?

As each city and county in Ohio defines its laws and regulations for each type of contractor’s license, it’s hard to tell which one is the easiest. In every licensing process in the state, you should meet the general requirements, pass the examinations, and possess liability insurance and bond.

Mary H

Mary H

Being a skilled creative writer and SEO content writer, with 2+ years of experience I can't imagine any other profession to fulfill my life as much as writing does. As a proud member of geek culture, I enjoy reading, writing, watching Sci-Fi gems, while also advocating the involvement of young, bright-minded girls and women in STEM research. Latter was largely the result of working at UNESCO Chair, Life Sciences International Postgraduate Educational Center as an editor of scientific journals.